The papers are full of stories today about Jordan Mutch, the Crystal Palace midfielder who is said to Brendan’s big January signing target.
He’s a midfielder, which ticks one box anyway.
He plays the “box to box” role which Scott Brown holds at the moment. He’s not a typical holding midfielder – which is the position I think we definitely need to fill – but he’s better suited to the role than Bitton, and certainly would do a much better job there than McGregor.
Jordan Mutch has ping-ponged between various clubs in the last couple of years; he’s one of those guys who doesn’t seem to have settled anywhere. But this has been true about a few of our players over the years, including Kris Commons.
There’s something about Celtic which seems to have a good effect on such people; this club becomes a home to them.
So I have no problems or concerns on that score; if he signs and he’s good enough to become a first team regular I think he’d be here for years. That’s the good news.
What’s the bad? Well I don’t know enough about this guy to say if there’s any bad news at all. Palace have barely played him this season, and they didn’t sign anyone in the summer who can play in that position. He’s simply not meeting expectations at the club at the moment.
This isn’t a deal breaker, but there’s got to be a reason for his loss of form.
But Scott Sinclair was undergoing similar career travails before Brendan brought him to Celtic Park and you wonder how clubs in England could have overlooked him this summer. Celtic have scouted this player, but more important is that Brendan knows what he’s got.
The boss has done an amazing job getting the best out of the players who are already here. Mutch is only 24; it’s impossible to believe his best years aren’t in front of him, and he’s already well respected south of the border.
There’s plenty of time for him to become a top footballer and Brendan is the manager to make it happen and Celtic would be the perfect place.
The mooted transfer fee is over £4 million in some outlets and as low as £2.5 in others. Something in between – £3 million perhaps – would be pretty reasonable; it’s an amount that wouldn’t represent a big risk and would allow us an opportunity to recoup it if he didn’t work out.
In these kind of moves you have to trust the manager, who will know what the player can do and what he can bring to the team. Most people hadn’t heard of Alan Thompson when Martin O’Neill moved for him and I thought spending £6 million on Neil Lennon, a player in the most unglamorous position in the team, was madness. Those are the kind of signings which only an astute boss who knows exactly what he’s doing can make.
If he thinks this is the guy, that this player is the answer, I’m happy to go along.
In Brendan We Trust.